The federal income tax is a hideously complicated structure, but it is actually much easier to understand than one might think. What is more difficult is putting aside one’s misconceptions of how the system works based on years of surface exposure to it.

Just as time spent watching TV does not give even the most dedicated couch potato a comprehensive understanding of the hidden mechanics of his television, the fact that you have faithfully paid your taxes every April 15 does not mean that you, or your accountant for that matter, know anything about the realities of the federal income tax in all its sordid glory.

Because the status quo has existed for so long, it is extremely difficult for most honest taxpayers to fairly examine evidence which suggests that they have been victimized by one of the most impressive con games in history. I know this because I used to faithfully fill out 1040s and have the appropriate taxes withheld every year myself, until some bizarre behavior on the part of an IRS agent caused me to begin wondering if there just might be some truth behind what I had always considered to be aberrant and wishful thinking on the part of the anti-tax lunatic fringe.

Another aspect to this subject which makes it a difficult one to grasp is the bewildering amount of information and misinformation available. But if the wide variety of claims being made against the legitimacy of the federal income tax are troubling, perhaps it is worth remembering what happened the last time a powerful governmental figure lied under oath. That lie, as often happens, spawned more lies in turn, until the entire web of deceit was finally exposed by a piece of evidence which did not remain hidden.

Given that there is strong evidence suggesting that lies have surrounded the income tax for most of its 89 years, I would not be surprised if most of the extant anti-tax arguments should, over time, be proven true. There is not space in this column to list them all, nor to address even one in detail, but there are some points worth mentioning nevertheless.

The most important thing to mark, in my opinion, is the definition of the United States in the section of U.S. Code relating to taxable income, which deviates from the usual definition of the United States of America. This United States is better described as the federal United States, consisting only of territories like Puerto Rico and Guam which are governed by the federal government but are not part of the 50 states. This is where the con apparently enters the game, as the income-related law written specifically to address these territories is then falsely interpreted as applying to the fifty states as well.

While the IRS points to court cases such as Collins, Becraft, Barcroft and Ward in an attempt to refute this argument, it is very interesting to note that in each case, the agency relies solely on a court’s unsupported statement instead of a proper legal reference, which, of course, is what the illegitimate jurisdiction argument is based upon.

Which naturally leads one to the question, do we live under a government of laws, or men?

The assertions of the IRS become particularly curious when one examines a document submitted by the U.S. Attorney in a 1993 civil case in Idaho, wherein the attorney “denies that the Internal Revenue Service is an agency of the United States government but admits that the United States of America would be a proper party to this action.” This distinction becomes all the more intriguing when one considers that the IRS was first established as a Puerto Rican agency and supports the contention that there is a significant distinction in law between the federal United States and the constitutional United States of America.

There is no question that the truth is easier to ignore if you don’t know what it is. But if you consider yourself a freedom-loving American, can you in good conscience refrain from examining the facts for yourself and considering the possibility that a portion of your freedom has been stolen from you through federal chicanery? Read the law. Read the facts about the 16th Amendment and about the 25 percent of non-filer cases the IRS loses every year. Then do what is right, not what is expedient, and refuse to be swayed by anyone who attempts to hide the truth through bluster, intimidation and lies.

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